5 Important Customer Service KPIs You Should Track

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

customer service metrics kpis key performance indicators

If you're not tracking or measuring your customer support, how can you evaluate what worked and what didn't? This goes along with the words of Peter Drucker, founding father of modern management studies: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” For example, if you’re baking a cake, you need to know what to measure and how to measure it in order to have a delicious baked good this round, as well as even better results for your next batch. Translated into business terms, having specific metrics for your customer service - known as key performance indicators (KPIs) - could arguably be the most important ingredient in your company’s success.

The catch? In the world of metrics, there are endless KPIs that can be used to evaluate your customer support efforts. From graphs to Excel sheets flooded with numbers, the possibilities can sometimes appear more overwhelming than helpful. Although a powerful help desk software is certainly an excellent tool for tracking support performance, it’s just as important to have a solid understanding of the importance of KPIs for your business. The following advice will assist you with figuring out what KPIs you should track to continuously improve your customer service.

Overall customer satisfaction

At the end of the day, it all comes down to customer satisfaction. Why? This important measurement can make or break the overall success of any business. The most common method of collecting this type of data is by requesting customer feedback about your product or service. For example, you can send an email with an attached survey asking recipients to rate their level of satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 5 or by adding a customized signature to support emails for them to respond with one of the presented emojis ranging from happy to angry. Some call centers, for example, will send an online survey post-call to review how helpful the customer believed their interaction was with that service provider.

The disadvantage of the questionnaire approach is that it’s highly subjective. It is difficult to control whether your customers are able to objectively evaluate their own feelings. Moreover, there may also be a bias as over-excited and infuriated customers would both naturally be the ones more inclined to respond to these types of surveys and leave feedback anyways. To fight these biases, make sure the survey is short (1 minute or less to fill out) and sweet. Additionally, adding a “submit anonymously” option will allow you to gather more honest and candid responses as people feel they are not held accountable for their answers. One thing to consider about private surveys is that although they do paint a picture on the general issue, it does not shed light on individual details. Also, keep in mind that timing is everything. Therefore, you should send your questionnaire within 24 hours of speaking to the customer to give them an appropriate amount of time and space to be able to collect their thoughts.

The above options are only a small handful of ways to measure customer satisfaction. No KPI is perfect, but it will allow you to gain insights through these responses. Once you’ve experimented with different methods, you’ll be able to focus on one way and segment it - for example, dividing the users into groups such as highly satisfied versus dissatisfied. From here, you can choose to implement changes to your customer support or follow up with the user for additional information.

First contact resolution

First contact resolution, or FCR, is your support team’s ability to properly assist the customer the first time around, without them returning for additional help. Basically, this means your representatives resolved the issue on the first go whether through a call, ticket or chat. This metric is measured by percentage - the higher, the better. Keep in mind, FCR can vary depending on the complexity of your product or service, as well as the overall level of agent efficiency. Whatever the case, your FCR is dependent on your customer support teams efforts and continuous evaluation on a regular basis.

There are several ways to track FCR. One of the most popular ones is to conduct a survey that asks if the problem was resolved immediately, i.e., “Did we resolve your issue the first time you contacted us?” A more precise alternative is analyzing tickets and calls through your help desk software. This can give insight on whether or not the situation was taken care of properly during the first interaction, and shed light on what should be improved for the future. Through analyzing support requests, you’ll be able to narrow down the issues that were not solved initially, whether it was an agent’s responsibility or a complex issue that required asking the user for more information. If you’re still not seeing an improvement, you may want to revamp your knowledge base articles based on an FCR analysis or even apply customer feedback directly to your product or service.

First response time

Your customers expect lightning speed answers, which is where the first response time plays a significant role. This metric is the number of minutes, hours, or days between when a client submits a support ticket and when your support team provides an initial response. Measuring your first response time is invaluable because it demonstrates to your customers how responsive you are at tending to their needs and allows them to build trust in your company.

How can you reduce first response time? Here are a few useful methods for lowering your reply time:

  • Implement a customer service software: Still at the stages of answering customers by email? You may want to consider having a powerful help desk software to improve your response time and have all customer conversations neatly stored in one place. By doing so, you’ll get an overlook at their account, what products or services they use, and additional information to enable your support team to provide fast and top-notch support. Yes, this is a massive change for your customer service and may take time for your support team to get adjusted to - but remember, it is only temporary. Additionally, the methods listed below can be easily used with a help desk software.